It’s clear to me that, in general, U.S. journalists, editors and publishers don’t like Rupert Murdoch.


The U.S. newspaper industry is very parochial.

Go to the participant list of any big international newspaper conference outside the United States and you will find only a few people from this country.

Go to any of their domestic conferences and you’ll find hardly any speakers or presentations from other markets.

Our beloved Leo Bogart used to explain the reasons:

This has been a monopolistic business.

Making a lot of money.

Producing very mediocre news products.

Ruled by advertisers.

Selling the papers almost free.


When somebody comes here and wants to buy The Wall Street Journal, the industry pundits make astonishing “revelations” like this one: “He will control the editorial voice of the paper.”

Oh yes?

Excuse me, but I have been reading the WSJ for many years and the “editorial voice” of the paper was, and is, one of the most right wing voices of the newspaper world.

But more than that: do you know, my friends, ANY newspaper owner that doesn’t control the “editorial voice” of his paper?


The Wall Street Journal under Rupert Murdoch will NOT be able to be more right wing than it is now.

But The Wall Street Journal under Rupert Murdoch will perhaps have a better multimedia and online strategy and business management.

And perhaps he will invest and re-invest some of the money that the Bancroft family is pocketing today from profits and dividends.

If I were a journalist or an editor at the WSJ I would not be worried about who controls the “editorial voice” of the paper, but about if the people who run the company have a serious multimedia and online strategy, are ready to invest a lot of money in that vision and keep the newsroom doing its job as well as it has been — including the “editorial voice” of the editorial pages.

Rupert never has been as right wing than they are now… thanks to the Bancroft family.


  1. jaysmall says:

    Greetings, Juan. I’d say you’re being kind referring to the U.S. newspaper biz as “parochial,” when you consider the lack of participation in international conferences or invitations to international speakers.

    I call it “cheap.” As a staffer or front-line manager in an American newsroom, good luck getting your editor or publisher to pay for a trip outside the mainland 48. And as an event coordinator, outside perhaps the Society for News Design with its long standing internationalization effort, good luck getting a trade association board to spring for travel for an overseas speaker.

    You’ve seen this, I know. Most U.S. newspaper conferences try, as first resort, to get their speakers to pay their own expenses and even pay to register for the conference! It’s no wonder they tend to resort to people who “had to be there anyway” (yes, I often fall into that camp, and I’m sure I’d spend a lot less time on podiums if I refused to pay my own freight).

  2. Hi, Jay!

    You are right.

    But the US newspaper industry is already paying the consequences.

    Of course, there are exceptions.

    I had the opportunity to speak a few months ago in a management retreat for editors of Landmark communications and I presented to them the amazing interactive experience of the “enlace” project in El Correo of Bilbao, Spain.

    Well… as soon as they saw the idea, the editor in chief of The Virginian Pilot dispatched one of his editors to Bilbao.

    And now, a few months later, the paper launches the Co-Pilot idea, inspired in the “enlace” one.

    I am sure that is going to work very well.

    Innovation starts many times “copying” and adapting ideas from other papers.

    This is what foreign editors have done for many years visiting and learning from the best U.S. newspapers.

    Perhaps now is the time to do the same but in the opposite direction.

    Let’s not forget that one the most precious “Pulitzer Prizes” still is the fellowship to travel around the world and learn from other markets, newspapers and journalists.

    Pulitzer was not cheap or parochial.

    Pulitzer was smart, and successful.

    We need more Pulitzers, and less bean counters.

  3. inksniffer says:

    The insularity of the US press is remarkable. I pointed out during the WAN congress how few senior US people were there. There were more people from Google than Gannett? Come on.

    Leo Bogart’s assessment is on the money. But I believe that there is tremendous potential over here despite it all. Their distribution networks give them unbelievable direct access to readers that I would have killed for when I worked in the UK. They ought to be able to produce and distribute a number of different products for their readers in a way that would be impossible in most other countries. But they do absolutely nothing with it. Not yet, anyway.

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